Anxiety and depression in the first year of medical residency training

Med Educ. 2002 Jan;36(1):66-72. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2923.2002.01104.x.


Objective: To perform a screening, follow-up and comparative evaluation of depression and anxiety symptoms in a group of 59 first-year internal medicine residents of a teaching hospital and evaluate the influence of their rotation, nature of rotation, subgroup, sex and the time of year on these symptoms.

Methods: We used the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), applied seven times, in the last week of every rotation.

Results and conclusion: We obtained two identical averages (P=0.98) of trait-anxiety, six months apart one from the other. There was a significant correlation (R=0.65, P < 0.001) between the indexes of state-anxiety and depression. Women had higher levels of symptoms of both anxiety and depression (P < 0.001) compared to men. A cluster of three subgroups of residents with higher trait-anxiety levels (P=0.001) also showed significantly higher levels of symptoms of state-anxiety and depression (P < 0.001). The time of the year and the nature of the rotation (emergency or not) did not interfere with the levels of depression (P=0.47). We detected rotations where there was greater frequency of residents with symptoms compatible with moderate and severe depression. There were 2.1% of residents with symptoms compatible with severe, 4.2% with moderate and 27% with mild depression. It was possible to graduate symptoms of anxiety and depression in residents, evaluate factors involved in their genesis and locate residents with moderate and severe depression.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Anxiety / etiology*
  • Brazil
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Education, Medical
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Teaching
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Male
  • Seasons
  • Sex Factors